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Grgich Hills Merlot Napa Valley Estate Grown 2006
About This Wine: This is a Cabernet lovers’ Merlot! Full-bodied and complex, this wine displays favors of cherries, blackberries and a hint of dried herbs on the finish. Its rich mouthfeel and food-friendly acidity make it the perfect partner with beef tenderloin, rack of lamb or roasted pork.<br/><br/> <strong>VINTAGE:</strong> Starting with a wet winter and spring that delayed budbreak and led into a slow, even, ripening of the grapes, 2006 was a relatively cool vintage. A heat spike in July helped the grapes catch up to a normal physiological ripeness, followed by an unusually cool August that allowed <br/>the grapes to completely ripen without dehydrating. Thanks to our organic and Biodynamic® farming, the vines remained healthy throughout the temperature swings, providing us with fully ripe, favorful grapes.<br/><br/> <strong>VINEYARD:</strong> All of our vineyards are certifed organic and Biodynamic, a holistic farming practice that uses the earth’s cycles and natural preparations to grow balanced, healthy vines without artifcial fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides. We blended Merlot grapes from four of our fve vineyards, with just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon to add complexity. By blending wine from four distinctive growing regions within Napa Valley, we crafted a complex, balanced Merlot.<br/><br/> About The Winery: Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. Then, in a now-historic blind tasting, a panel of eminent French judges swirled, sniffed, and sipped an array of the fabled white Burgundies of France and a small sampling of upstart Chardonnays from the Napa Valley. When their scores were tallied, the French judges were shocked: they had chosen Mike’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu! The results stunned the international wine establishment and immediately earned Mike a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.<br/><br/> The Paris Tasting served notice to the world that the California wine industry was on the move, and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar. After his victory in Paris, Mike sat down with Austin Hills and his sister, Mary Lee Strebl, from the Hills Bros. Coffee family, and on Independence Day 1977, they gave birth to Grgich Hills. It was an ideal partnership. Austin owned premium vineyards in Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley, and with his extensive background in business, he put the winery on its financial feet. Mike, with his fierce commitment to making wines of the highest quality, began producing what immediately became our signature wine: the exquisite, richly complex Chardonnays that win awards and delight wine lovers across America and throughout the world.<br/><br/> Today, we remain committed to making distinctive wines with quality, consistency and longevity. We are proud that world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand chose our wines to serve at state dinners, but we are just as proud that every single day discriminating wine drinkers count on Grgich Hills to turn their own dinners into special occasions.<br/><br/> As always, we treat each of our six different wines as a special child, carefully nurturing their development and character. Our main pride and joy is our Chardonnay, an elegant example of the varietal displaying rich flavors and exquisite balance. As a complement to the Chardonnay, we also produce a refreshingly crisp Fumé Blanc, a rich and spicy Zinfandel, a Cabernet Sauvignon with tremendous depth and complexity, a lush and richly fragrant Merlot, and a luscious dessert wine named “Violetta,” in honor of Mike's daughter, Violet.<br/><br/> Now 85 years old, and still sporting his signature blue beret, Mike was inducted into the Vinter Hall of Fame in March 2008 in honor of his many contributions to the wine industry. While many other Napa wineries pursue strategies of expansion, Mike, along with his daughter, Violet, and his nephew, Ivo Jeramaz, prefer to stay small. Their aim, year after year, is to improve the quality of their vineyards and their wines, relying on Mike’s unique artistic and intuitive touch. This strategy continues to pay significant dividends. Many wineries buy their grapes from outside vineyards. Grgich Hills now owns all of its own vineyards, all of which are certified organic and Biodynamic. Beginning with the 2003 vintage, all Grgich Hills wines are labeled “Estate Grown.” This guarantees a consistently superior level of quality, and it guarantees that Grgich Hills will remain a shining symbol of prestige and good taste. In recognition of that important milestone, the winery changed its name in 2007 to Grgich Hills Estate.<br/><br/> Technical Analysis: <strong>Alcohol:</strong> 14.5% by volume<br/><br/> <strong>Fermentation:</strong> indigenous yeast<br/><br/> <strong>Harvest date:</strong> Sept. 23 to Oct. 11, 2006<br/><br/> <strong>Sugar:</strong> 24.8˚ Brix (average)<br/><br/> <strong>Bottling date:</strong> July 21, 2008<br/><br/> <strong>Release date:</strong> June 2010<br/><br/> <strong>Total acid:</strong> 5.8 g/L<br/><br/> <strong>pH:</strong> 3.54<br/><br/> <strong>Time in oak:</strong> 18 months<br/><br/> <strong>Type of oak:</strong> mixture of large and small French oak barrels; 30% new<br/><br/> <strong>Production:</strong> 5,250 cases (12/750 ml.) 600 cases (12/375 ml.)<br/><br/> <strong>Blend:</strong> 98% Merlot; 2% Cabernet Sauvignon<br/><br/>
Very dry finish. Deep, dark ad rich merlot. - Tasted at Grgich 12/27/10
External Reviews for Grgich Hills Merlot Napa Valley Estate Grown
"Rating: 89/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the September 2010 issue. Young and nervy
Rating: 89/100 - As reviewed by Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (www.cgcw.com) in the September 2010 issue. Young and nervy, and entirely within the familial approach, this Merlot from Grgich Hills favors black cherry fruit with a distinct overlay of green herbs. Its firm construction comes with enough flesh and suppleness to be enjoyable now and to promise a more open stance with two to five years of cellaring. It provides clear contrast to the more rounded, succulent style, and it acts more like Cabernet than most Merlot.Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine aging recommendation: Drinkable now. Further bottle aging can improve this wine.